When I was a kid, I loved baseball. I was the ball. I pitched, mostly, threw a lot of perfect games and shutouts. One season, there was only 1 hit off me. The moment I released it, I knew he was going to hit it. I could always see him mentally telepathizing "please hit it to my sweet spot - high and outside." You got your wish and a nice double, Joe. Of course, I didn't pitch every game & enjoyed playing any position with "hit it to me and I'll throw you out" relish. If I played outfield, I'd throw it from deep to home and nail it without the ball ever going head-high. I threw hard and accurate. And loved it. So, there we were, our last game of the Little League Season. We were facing our most feared adversaries, who had a pitcher who not only had whiskers, but stubble you could see from a mile away, just like his Dad's. If that wasn't bad enough, the stocky, muscular, he-must-shave-three-times-a-day pitcher's name was Ted Williams. No matter how he tried to get us over it, the coach could do nothing to relieve our sheer terror. Ted Williams! Last year, we'd faced them twice and shared the championship, as we'd won and lost a game off each other. Neither of us pitched in those particular games, as we'd each pitched the game before. This particular season, the draw, as custom was - there'd be one team you'd only play once that season. Us and them. Six hitless innings we both pitched in our first face-off against one another in 2 years, though 2 walks from each of us. A hot, balmy day had turned to dusk, which had turned into a hotter, balmier night by the time the seventh and final inning rolled around. My Mom showed up just as the Seventh started with someone I'd never, ever seen at one of my games - her Mom. Somehow or another, the first 2 guys managed to get put out. I say, somehow, because no matter which ball I was handed or tossed, it seemed to be slippery. Just muggier'n'hell. Their #4 batter, who eventually grew to be over 7' tall was their other pitcher. He had the most vicious curve-ball known to boykind - batting second, he popped it deep, deep, deep - clear back, back, back - out. Nice catch, Nilva! Their last guy up was Ted Williams. Three balls, two strikes... and he was out... swinging. *whew* Nilva was up first. He was our #3 batter. He hit the ball out of it's stitches, only to have the center-fielder catch it - allegedly inside the line. Sure. To this day, I think the outfield ump cheated. After all, one of his cousins was their shortstop, the another was their catcher. Cheaters. Oh, we howled. Then Big John T. came up. Our biggest player, in fact, our neighborhood's #1 perceived bully and threat to mankind as we knew it. Despite that, he used the lightest bat on the team. Of course, he swung it about 600 miles an hour, so 2 homeruns a game were considered a slow night for him. Boom! Man, that was a high one, too. Out. Centerfield line. Exact same spot. Cheaters. That ump was doing everything he could to rob us. We wuz robbed again! That meant I was up. All I was thinking was, I can hit deep at batting practice all day, but I haven't hit a home run since I was a knothole-leaguer. Please hit it to my sweet spot. My Grandmother's here. Please hit it to my sweet spot. We've been forewarned the game will not go into extra innings under any circumstances. Both teams are undefeated. Bottom of the Seventh. End of Regulation Play. Nobody on base. Two outs. Three balls, Two strikes. Ted Williams. Late on the swing. I swear the ball never went higher than 5 feet as it went to right field. But it flew. And flew. And flew. It flew, and so did I. I still fly high every time I think about that home run.